Forgers weigh options such as repair, rebuild, remanufacture or new equipment when considering options to increase capacity. This article considers the four options and the pros and cons associated with each.
October 7, 2019
When forges need to expand production to meet increased demand for existing parts or to add new product lines, selecting from available options to bring new equipment online can be challenging.
Cross-wedge rolling (CWR) is a forging technique in which a heated billet is formed by rolling it between two flat (or cylindrical parallel-axis) die plates. This article describes the CWR process and equipment as applied to the production of railroad screws and other similar products.
American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. (AAM) entered into a definitive agreement to sell its U.S. iron casting operations (Grede) to funds managed by Gamut Capital Management for $245 million. Across 10 manufacturing facilities, Grede develops, manufactures, assembles and supplies ductile, gray and specialty iron castings and machined components for the automotive, commercial vehicle and industrial markets. AAM will retain its El Carmen, Mexico, iron casting operations.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced that Bharat Forge America Inc. will build an aluminum forging plant to manufacture automobile components in Lee County, N.C. The $127.3 million investment will create 304 jobs. The new facility will be part of a larger manufacturing center that will create as many as 460 jobs. According to Bharat Forge, the investment will help it create a strong global manufacturing footprint as part of its aluminum strategy.
BlueScope, an Australian steel producer, has approved the expansion of its North Star facility in Delta, Ohio. The company will add an additional 850,000 metric tons per year of steelmaking capacity. The $700 million project is expected to begin in mid-2022 with full ramp-up scheduled for approximately 18 months later. In addition, the expansion has potential future growth of a further 500,000 metric tons per year. According to BlueScope, the expansion offers long-term sustainable earnings growth from a high-quality asset.
HarbisonWalker International (HWI), a supplier of refractory products and services, completed the first phase of a $9 million expansion at its manufacturing operations in White Cloud, Mich. The project will significantly increase warehousing space and add advanced-manufacturing and hydraulic press technologies. HWI’s 110,000-square-foot White Cloud facility currently employs approximately 140 people and produces brick and monolithic refractories utilized by the steel industry.
Steel Dynamics Inc. awarded SMS group an order covering the supply of a complete steel production line for its new mill in Sinton, Texas. Germany’s SMS group will supply two direct-current electric-arc furnaces (DC-EAF) having a capacity of 190 tons each, two twin-ladle furnaces and a double vacuum tank degasser. The line, which is scheduled to be commissioned in mid-2021, will enable SDI to produce thin slabs with thicknesses of up to 5.2 inches (130 mm) and slab widths of up to 84 inches (2,134 mm). SMS group will also supply electrical and automation systems as well as technical support during installation and commissioning, which is scheduled for mid-2021.
The 23rd International Forging Congress (IFC), to be held in Chicago Sept. 19-21, 2020, issued its call for presentations. The event, which will immediately follow the IMTS show, will showcase the best in technical and business-oriented presentations for the worldwide forging community. The IFC Planning Committee is calling for presentations now through Aug. 31, 2019.
Primetals Technologies and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will acquire ABP Induction Systems (ABP), a global manufacturer and servicer of induction furnaces and heating systems. ABP provides state-of-the-art equipment for ferrous and nonferrous metal casting, forging and steelmaking. Its main products are induction melting, holding and pouring furnaces as well as induction heaters. MHI and Primetals Technologies will jointly take ABP’s shares, and future business activities will be conducted in close cooperation with and under the leadership of Primetals Technologies.
Thyssenkrupp will build an advanced forging line at its Homburg site in Germany’s Saarland region. The company will invest approximately $90 million in a new 12,000-square-meter facility to produce forged front axles for trucks. The centerpiece of the highly automated and digitized forging line will be a 16,000-ton forging press measuring 32.8 feet (10 meters) high and weighing 1,700 tons. According to thyssenkrupp, the press will produce 360,000 forged components per year and will not be restricted to one product. In addition to front axle systems, the line will be able to produce crankshafts and other forged parts as required.